Finding Lunang

Large-scale, moving carousel puppet installation
Accompanied by a performance: Laki Laki Laut (Men of the Sea)
Space: Flexible, indoor or outdoor

This large-scale, moving carousel puppet installation, designed by Iwan Effendi and featuring Papermoon Puppet Theatre, was commissioned by ART|JOG—a major, annual visual art festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

“This is the story of a boy whose figure keeps on being seen in different parts of the world. Sometimes, it was as if he was appearing from thin air. People said that the boy was seen playing with the wave at a harbor in a land far away. Somehow, his little figure was also seen running around in the West, the Far East, the North and Southern sides of the world, whether at the same time or not. He has a funny look, with his brown sunburnt skin color, bald head, round stomach, and wide forehead. Rumor says that he is easily found in the port, running around freely. His presence is a mystery. The harbor people and the sailors keep talking about him—trying to solve his mystery.

“He might be just another voyager who travels around the world with all his magic. Maybe, coincidently, other boys who looks slightly like him are easily seen in different parts of the world. Maybe he was just a rumor, spread by a bored sailor. How he got here and where he is at the moment, nobody knows.

“Years later, he becomes a myth. Stories about him blossom. People can find a piece of him through the notes of world voyagers, who have their own way of telling about him. Some of them are magical, while others do not even make sense. Just like other stories, in these tales you can find a glimpse of truth. However, myth is what people use to answer difficult questions. There is always a part of it that is true. The boy keeps on playing with the tales. The sailors and people who live by the sea continuously exchange stories about his whereabouts.  Whispers are flowing with the salty seaside air—humid and warm. This is the story about Lunang, a boy met by the sailors in their quest to find a new source of life.”

—Text by Mira Asriningtyas

Note: For more information about the accompanying performance, please see Laki Laki Laut (Men of the Sea) under Performances.”